Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Abortion Debate: The Moral Status of the Fetus, Application Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1057

Application Essay

The sense in which all arguments about abortion ultimately may be reduced to the moral status of the fetus first needs to be qualified: for example, there exist many poor arguments for any number of issues, and therefore, illogical and irrational arguments should obviously be from the very outset of an investigation into ethics be excluded. Accordingly, it should rather be re-stated that all logically and rationally compelling arguments can be reduced to the moral status of the fetus, in the sense that what is present in this argument is a debate over the status of the human being: does the fetus count as a human being? If so, then the act of abortion could be viewed from the same ethical horizons as the act of murder. If this is not the case, in contrast, abortion therefore becomes an exercising of individual choice. From both perspectives, it seems that it is precisely a moral status of the fetus, conceived along the lines of what constitutes an individual human being that is at the center of this debate.

From both perspectives in the argument concerning abortion, regardless of the position ultimately taken, there are essentially two fundamental steps. Firstly, there is a definition of the human being, perhaps not rigorously formulated, but nevertheless appealed to. Secondly, there is an application of this definition of the human being to the abortion paradigm itself. Namely, those in favor of abortion will attempt to apply their definition of the human being solely to the female who intends to have the abortion, while those opposing abortion will attempt to apply their definition of the human being to the fetus, thereby challenging the definition of the fetus as essentially non-human that those in favor of abortion suggest. According to this basic form of the argument, it therefore appears clear that in both cases what is at stake is precisely the moral status of the fetus conceived along the lines of a definition of the human being.

Yet, another similarity along between both sides of the debate therefore does not only lie in this struggle for where to confer the status of the human being, that is to say, to the mother or to the fetus, but a shared ethical position emerges essentially in terms of the conception of a human being in terms of individuality. Namely, human beings are primarily defined regarding their own autonomy, their own potentiality, their own “right to life” and their own “right to decide.” The moral status of the fetus is thus conceived in terms of a specific conception of humanity, whereby humanity is individuality, and the human being is the individual. Certainly, this may seem like fully intuitive, but we must emphasize that this itself is an approach to the human being defined by an American and Western European culture that places the rights of the individual above all others. Such philosophical underpinnings for this idea, for example, can be found in the influence of the work of the philosopher John Stuart Mill in the greater “Anglosphere”, who, for example, offered definitions of the science of humanity along individual lines: such an anthropology would in Mill’s words, “have attained the ideal perfection of a science if it is enabled us to foretell how an individual would think, feel, or act through life with the same certainty with which astronomy enables us to predict the places and the occultations of the heavenly bodies.” (87) What is of most importance in this definition is the notion of humanity conceived along individual lines: essentially, in the abortion debate the attempt is made by both sides to acquire the “rights” of the individual for either the mother or the fetus. This of course proposes that the human being should be defined in terms of individuality, as opposed to, for example, greater social and community relations, various gender and social roles, etc., namely, a more social picture of the human as opposed to an individual picture of the human. It could be added that such a picture of the human being would be more devastating to the arguments in favor of abortion, since the latter almost entirely revolve around a Western notion of individuality in the form of the woman’s right to decide about her individual body.

To the extent that individuality becomes the ethical paradigm through which our own understanding of ourselves as human beings, at least in the so-called “Western” world, has developed, then it is clear that this same ethical paradigm is present in all our institutions, such as medical institutions. What is happening in the abortion debate and the moral status of the fetus is therefore consistent with an institutionalization of individuality, for example, in the case of bioethics. Ethical debates about the status of the fetus therefore attempt to demand institutional recognition of the individual status or reject the individual status of the fetus. But what becomes problematic here is that this individual ethical foundation of the debate may not be clearly articulated, meaning, for example, that institutional “documents often do not contain much detailed ethical argument.” (O’Sullivan and Pecorino, Chapter 14, Section 2) In as much as the abortion issue is entirely an issue concerning the ethical definition of a human being, therefore, this is also reflected in how the moral status of the fetus is conceived not only by both sides of the debate as central, but also among the institutions wherein this debate takes place and is ultimately legitimated on a legal level.

Hence, the abortion debate appears structured according to a debate over the moral status of the fetus, not only from the perspectives of those for or against abortion, but also in regards to the institutional presumptions regarding health care and an emphasis on individuality. This is not to discount that there are other arguments for or against abortion, for example, those who feel abortion should be authorized in cases such as incest or rape. Yet the fundamental notion of abortion in general ultimately comes down to an ethical horizon that is based on an equation of the human being with the individual, and to whom should this individuality be granted.

Works Cited

O’Sullivan, Stephen & Pecorino, Phillip A. Ethics: An Online Textbook. 2002.

Mill, John Stuart. “A Science of Human Nature.” In L. Archie & J.G. Archie (eds.)

Introduction to Ethical Studies: An Open Sources Reader. GDFL, 2003.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Application Essay Samples & Examples

The Proficiency of an ESA, Application Essay Example

Obviously, I have chosen in this specific ESA masters program, since I am targeted on obtaining valuable experience within the field of development as well [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 327

Application Essay

Law School Application, Application Essay Example

Throughout the course of my life, I have developed a passion for aiding the lives of other individuals. Specifically, I am big on diversity and [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 603

Application Essay

Royal Holloway, Application Essay Example

Being given the opportunity to study at the world-renowned Royal Holloway will provide me with the tools I necessitate in order to obtain a unique [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 269

Application Essay

Information System Management, Application Essay Example

Common vision is shared between me and the ABC University. Likewise, both of us are keen to discover the limitations imposed by the nature by [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 297

Application Essay

Rice Business Institution, Application Essay Example

This application expresses my interest in admission to the Rice Business institution. From a young age, I have had a particular enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 549

Application Essay

Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Application Essay Example

As entrepreneurs we keepa close eye on the prevalent state of the world but at the same time we also carry a vision as to [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 395

Application Essay

The Proficiency of an ESA, Application Essay Example

Obviously, I have chosen in this specific ESA masters program, since I am targeted on obtaining valuable experience within the field of development as well [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 327

Application Essay

Law School Application, Application Essay Example

Throughout the course of my life, I have developed a passion for aiding the lives of other individuals. Specifically, I am big on diversity and [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 603

Application Essay

Royal Holloway, Application Essay Example

Being given the opportunity to study at the world-renowned Royal Holloway will provide me with the tools I necessitate in order to obtain a unique [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 269

Application Essay

Information System Management, Application Essay Example

Common vision is shared between me and the ABC University. Likewise, both of us are keen to discover the limitations imposed by the nature by [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 297

Application Essay

Rice Business Institution, Application Essay Example

This application expresses my interest in admission to the Rice Business institution. From a young age, I have had a particular enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 549

Application Essay

Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Application Essay Example

As entrepreneurs we keepa close eye on the prevalent state of the world but at the same time we also carry a vision as to [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 395

Application Essay

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!